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[R67] Graduation season is upon us
Start Date: 5/9/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 5/9/2014
Entry Description

Soon, another round of bright, young Hoosiers will graduate from college and look to enter the workforce. This is a time of optimism and excitement but can also be met with hesitation as students are faced with the question: What happens next?

Over the past few years, students graduating college have struggled to find employment in today’s competitive job market. In Indiana, however, as our economy continues to grow stronger, more job opportunities are becoming available to college students. In fact, since this time last year, when graduates were accepting their diplomas, Indiana’s unemployment rate declined by two percent. This is the third largest decrease in the nation.

On Sunday, May 11, I had the distinct honor of speaking to graduates of Ivy Tech Southeast at their spring commencement ceremony. As I began preparing for the speech, I wanted to show them that even though I am a state representative, I have been in their shoes before and understand their concerns.

When I thought of all the things that I wanted to share, I immediately went back to 1983. This was a challenging time in Indiana’s economy, and frankly, jobs were not easy to come by. In May of that year, after what seemed like a promising career as a telecommunications technician, I heard those five words that no one ever wants to hear, “You are being laid off.” 

As a husband and father of two young children, the thought of having no income was truly frightening. Every morning, I woke up hoping to hear back from an employer, and when opportunities didn’t come, I had to start looking elsewhere for my family’s sake.

I eventually began to look across the country, and soon, my family and I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where I worked a couple temporary jobs. While I didn’t immediately find what I was interested in, I learned of a career opportunity with the Town of Palm Beach, Fire Department and applied for the position. In March of 1984, I began a career as a professional fire fighter, a duty which I would serve for over 26 years.

Eventually, in 1990, I found my way back to Indiana. I transferred to the Washington Township Fire Department in Indianapolis and eventually retired as a merit Lieutenant with IFD on December 1, 2010. 

Indiana had always been home to me, and I was beyond grateful that life had finally led me back here. Fortunately, the Ivy Tech class of 2014 is graduating at a much different time, and while finding a job can still be challenging, I have never been more optimistic about our state’s current job market. As the number one business-friendly environment in the Midwest, Indiana continues to attract high-quality, high-paying jobs that provide endless opportunities for our skilled workforce. 

Whether or not they choose to make Indiana their home, I encouraged those students to enjoy the journey, learn from life’s challenges and help each other along the way. Where we plan or think we are going to end up is not always how things always turn out, so I encourage everyone to turn adversity into growth and opportunity. It is in those moments when we learn the most about ourselves.

Contact Information:
Name: Courtney Scott
Phone: 317-234-9006
Attachments For This Entry:
    > Graduation season is upon us
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • After Hours
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Education
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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